2011 Manchester Road Race

What a fantastic day at the Manchester Road Race. Nearly 15,000 runners were bathed in brilliant sunshine for the 75th anniversary of this incredible race. This year, the vibe was even better thanks to all of the anniversary celebrations. The festivities started last weekend with the Little Manchester Road Race. It was great to have my Manchester Road Race memories chronicled on the front page of Tuesday’s Hartford Courant. The temperature was cold, but the sunshine warmed everyone up. More than 30,000 people lined the streets to cheer on the runners. It was thrilling. This was my 16th MRR in a row and I think my 21st overall.

Debbie and I ran and the Schieffer Family watched our kids and the race. This grand tradition continues. My race was ho-hum. I had a crazy work week and with the added stress, I was a little “off” going into this morning’s 4.748 mile event. I really wanted to break 27 minutes, but fell short by 9 seconds. I ran my fastest MRR (27:00) two years ago and was close to the magic number in 2010 and again today. I know a lot of folks would kill for a 27-something race, but I’ve done this race enough times to know when I’m “on” and when I’m not. I also have high expectations and know what I’m capable of. I just haven’t put together “that race” at Manchester yet.

I told Deb after the race that 2012 is my year. I enter a new and exciting age group (gulp) next year and it is time to finally focus on this race. We just ran the Busa Bushwhack five days ago and it beat us up. It wasn’t supposed to be that way, but Busa was postponed because of the freak October snowstorm. I would have much rather rested last weekend, but we wanted to get in our 6th New England Grand Tree Trail Running Series race and I had to give it my all at the rescheduled race. I don’t know any other way. When in a race, you race.

So, today, I felt like my body was stiff. My back was bothering me yesterday and again this morning, so I just lathered on enough “start oil” with camphor to get a fire going. I’m still burning up as I type this! My legs never loosened up and I ran a slower hill than normal. I was OK on the Porter St. descent, but then faded a bit between miles 3 and 4. Brett Stoeffler caught me in the same spot as the past two years. He nabbed me at the 3 mile mark and I couldn’t hang on. It pains me to watch him go up the road because he is a master at pacing. One of these years, I’ll keep him in sight and I’ll get the time that I really want. Not this year…

Debbie had a solid race, but she was also unhappy with her speed. I thought that records might fall today, but neither the men’s winner, Brian Olinger, or the women’s winner, Sally Kipyego, were close. Still, these were amazing performances in a pressure cooker of a race. I was amazed with Don Cabral performance. He is the Glastonbury kid who was crushing all on the high school scene three short years ago. He was 6th today, which is spectacular for a local guy. He can win this thing some day, and I hope he does.

Last night, Deb, the kids, and I went to the annual pre-race pasta dinner at the Elks Club. We saw many friends and had a fun time chatting with the elite runners. I was inspired by seeing Julia Chase-Brand, who was one of the first women to compete in and finish the MRR. She “broke the gender barrier” for women’s distance running 50 years ago at the 1961 race. It gives me chills to think about that race and how she must have felt when she ran Manchester again today. There was a nice story in the New York Times and several stories in today’s Journal Inquirer.

It was great to see all of our club-mates from the Shenipsit Striders and Silk City Striders. All I can say is that the Manchester Road Race is awesome and that thinking about it brings a smile to my face.

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@thecubscouts #pinewoodderby never gets old. Pack 157 Bolton, Connecticut #cubscouts So that little injury caused by my @renocxnats crash on Saturday afternoon wasn’t so little after all. It’s a broken leg (fibula). Prognosis is good, but it hurts like heck. My blog post report with blow by blow details is linked in my profile. #cxnats #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes #crossisboss - - -

This #lifedeathcyclocross stuff is true!!!! I crashed out of the Singlespeed Championship @renocxnats (on the dreaded off-camber) but not before having more fun. @artroti43 raced on the frosty course ❄️ at day break. 🚴🏽 We met a lot more @horsteng #crossspikes customers. I hung with little bunny hopper 🐰 Miles, the Junior 11-12 year old Silver Medalist.🥈I cheered for Nic, who represented @the_ccap in the Junior 15-16 age group. @sportstert and Iva came down from Tahoe to cheer LOUDLY for me. 🎺 I got my badly sprained ankle taped and iced. I had a beer. 🍺 I’m even looking forward to my red eye flight home ✈️ . Best of all, I’ll see @trailrunningmom and the kids on Sunday. I can’t explain the sensation, but despite the pain, I’m ready for next #Cyclocross season to begin... after some rest. #teamhorstsports #cxnats #horstengineering @parkavebikeshop #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross #crossiscoming You could say that at least for this week, I’m married to my #bicycle - - -

@renocxnats #cxnats @seven_cycles #sevencycles #teamhorstsports #horstengineering #crossspikes @horsteng #chapelofthebells #Cyclocross #lifedeathcyclocross Good day representing @horsteng at @renocxnats in the 45-49 age group. It’s a great course. The wind was blowing hard, but the sun finally came out. I’m happy with 37th place but should have made a move to get to 29th, which was 30 seconds ahead. That’s a long way when you are going flat out and cramping. 4,500 foot elevation was a factor. I’m disappointed that they cut one lap of my race when I wasn’t close to getting lapped by the leaders. You train this hard and come all this way; and you want to get the most racing for the $ and time invested. They only let 25 riders do the full six laps. The only positive to come out of that was that I watched fellow New Englander @adammyerson execute a perfect final sprint to win the Stars and Stripes again. Teammate @artroti43 had a good ride too. 
@seven_cycles #sevencycles #horstengineering #teamhorstsports @bicycleseastct #crossspikes #cxnats #renocxnats #Cyclocross #crossisboss @therichardsachs didn’t have the race he hoped for but it was still great to see him @renocxnats and “pit” for him. He said he officially started his second off season, but first of 2018. @artroti43 and I played soigneur/mechanic for 90 minutes, but minus the massage! atmo #renocxnats #richardsachs #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes #hauteframebuilding #Cyclocross #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross I previously hadn’t published this image, but it recently received an Honorable Mention in the 2017 @appalachianmountainclub Photo Contest for the People Outdoors category. Check out my blog (link in profile) for the interesting story of his photo (shot with this iPhone 6s), a trip report from this amazing Maine adventure, and past contest history. I love this image of two of my favorite women. I’m barred from submitting images to the 2018 contest, but I’ll be back in 2019. #appalachianmountainclub #baxterstatepark #katahdin Congratulations to Master Park, the Park Family, and the entire team at Park’s U.S. #Taekwondo at the Grand Opening of the new facility in the former VFW building. Our kids love it! So much better than being next door to the pawn shop and liquor store.😊#tkd 🇺🇸🇰🇷 This morning, the @trinitycollege Main Quad was bathed in beautiful sunshine ☀️but it was frigid and the wind was blowing! ❄️ The chapel was packed with an overflow crowd to celebrate the (shortened) life of a lovely friend. She will be missed. #circleoflife 🌏

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